HC Deb 28 February 1917 vol 90 c2043W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food if the hoarding of foodstuffs and the withholding of the same from the markets has yet been made a punishable offence; and if he will issue Orders preventing the export of food from Ireland?


The Articles of Commerce (Returns, etc.) Act, 1914, and a Proclamation, dated 17th September, 1914, give power to take possession of any articles of food which are unreasonably withheld. The Food Controller also has power to requisition any foodstuffs, and thus to prevent such foodstuffs from being hoarded or withheld from the market. Failure to comply with a requisition made by the Food Controller is a punishable offence under the Defence of the Realm Regulations. As regards the second part of the question, Ireland stands in the same position in regard to the export of food as the rest of the United Kingdom—that is to say, the export of nearly all articles of food is already prohibited except under licence. In addition, at the request of the Chief Secretary, the shipping of potatoes from Ireland to other parts of the United Kingdom, which is not included under the definition of export, has been prohibited except under licence.